Focusing on the twin-engine helicopter market, Helibras – the Airbus Helicopter subsidiary in Brazil – launched their new H145 in the country last year. Based on the EC145 model, the new aircraft shows structural modifications, and works as the updated version of it. During the event HeliExpo, Airbus announced the rebranding of the twin-engine model.
The H145 is a twin-engine aircraft and can carry up to nine passengers along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter was designed for passenger transport, corporate transport, emergency medical services (EMS), search and rescue, parapublic and utility functions. During its launching in Brazil, François Arnaud, former Commercial and Marketing vice-president for Helibras, revealed: “For this helicopter, we’re focusing on 4 different audiences. First, corporate transport, second parapublic, including governments, police and fire brigades, because it has been really used for those purposes all over the world. It can also be very useful for offshore and onshore missions in Amazônia. Finally, we’re introducing the model to the Marine.”
Created to deliver excellent performance throughout the flight envelope, Airbus’ H145 is the latest member of its 4-tonneclass twin-engine rotorcraft product range – with designed-in mission capability and flexibility, especially in high and hot operating conditions. Compact in size, this helicopter’s small footprint and large, flexible cabin make it the aircraft of choice for a variety of missions.
The H145 is derived from the EC145 – which was based on the BK117, a twin-engine certified in the 1980s, developed by MBB (Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, from Germany) and Kawasaki (from Japan). In 2014 the EASA issued its certification for the model. According to François Arnaud, the production of EC-145 should be discontinued. The H145 joins Airbus’ multi-purpose EC145/BK117 family, from which some 1,100 rotorcraft are in service worldwide – logging a combined total of more than four million flight hours. Bringing a large cabin, a compact airframe, and powerful engines, the H145 responds to a multitude of mission needs. Enhancements incorporated in the H145 include Airbus’ innovative Helionix avionics suite and 4-axis autopilot; increased performance through its Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2E; an anti-torque system with the latest version of the company’s signature Fenestron shrouded tail rotor and a new tail gearbox as well as an upgraded main gearbox.
The Fenestron technology brings to the H145 benefits such as improved flight and ground safety, enhanced anti-torque control efficiency, reduced power demand in forward flight, and lower noise and vibration levels. Meeting the latest international avionics standards, the Helionix installation incorporates the most innovative alerting and self-monitoring system. Additionally, the H145 is equipped with the most advanced dual-duplex, four-axis autopilot specifically designed for helicopters. This offers high flight stability and precision, unique flight envelope and over-limit protection, automated
takeoff and fully-coupled approaches to hover.
Building on Airbus’ extensive experience gained with the BK117/EC145 helicopter family, the H145’s maintenance procedures optimize the intervals between periodical inspections, ensuring increased availability and reduced operating costs. The optional helicopter usage monitoring system (HUMS) keeps track of the engine’s health in accordance with usage conditions, resulting in further availability and enhanced cost-effective maintenance.